The chief of the San Francisco Police Department has banned the use of facial masks that bear the pattern of the "Thin Blue Line" flag during the COVID-19 pandemic .

The police union ordered and distributed the masks, KGO reports.

According to KTVU-TV, Chief William Scott said in an internal department communication that the "symbolism on some of our officers’ face masks may be perceived as divisive or disrespectful."

Scott said he's taking immediate steps to provide an alternative form of personal protective equipment. As soon as the new PPE is made available, wearing the "Thin Blue Line" masks will not be allowed.